ABB drive saves energy for leisure centre AHU

Energy efficiency, ABB Drives
Installing an ABB variable-speed drive for an AHU in this pool hall is expected to achieve energy savings resulting in a payback of well under a year.

A leisure centre in Sittingbourne is set to reduce the costs of air handling by nearly 25% for its swimming pool following a trial with an ABB low-voltage drive. The £4000 saving will give a payback period of well under a year.

The Swallows Leisure Centre has three pools in its pool hall, the largest of which is 25 m long. Serco Leisure operates the centre on behalf of the local authority and was concerned by the energy use of the AHU in the upper pool are. To deal with a condensation problem in the pool hall, this AHU ran continuously, with no control over its output.

Serco asked Mid Kent Electrical (MKE) an ABB Drives Alliance member, to investigate. Monitoring the power consumed by the existing 22 kW fan over a week showed an average of almost 19.5 kW.

The star-delta starting system was replaced with a 22 kW ABB standard drive for HVAC set at 30 Hz from 10 p.m. to 6.20 a.m. and full speed during the day. Average power consumption was reduced to 14.8 kW. CO2 emissions will also be cut by 22 t a year.

The savings indicated above are based on an electricity cost to the centre of 10 p/kWh.

Russel Kimpton of MKE says, ‘There is further scope for savings during the day. Once the full-time drive is installed, its speed could be scaled back in, say, 5% steps to a point just before we start to see the condensation problem again.’

There is another AHU in the lower pool halls and one in the gymnasium that could also potentially benefit from ABB drives.

For more information on this story, click here: August 2012, 86
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